Historically, vaccines have been our best weapon against the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, including smallpox, polio, measles, and yellow fever. Unfortunately, we do not have a vaccine for HIV. The virus has unique ways of evading the immune system, and the human body seems incapable of mounting an effective immune response against it. As a result, scientists do not have a clear picture of what is needed to provide protection against HIV.
Finding a safe, effective, and durable HIV vaccine remains a top priority for NIAID. Through the Vaccine Research Center and the Division of AIDS, NIAID conducts and supports biomedical research that leads to increased knowledge about how HIV interacts with the human immune system and evaluation of the most promising vaccine candidates. Although a vaccine to prevent HIV infection remains the ultimate goal, NIAID is also examining vaccines that could significantly alter the course of disease and infectiousness of people infected with HIV, which could provide positive health benefits both for infected individuals and the larger community.
Last Updated June 08, 2015